Startup Visa Act 2011 Bill Introduced

Raghuram Sukumar USA Visa 3 Comments

New version of Startup Visa Act bill was introduced in US Senate yesterday by Senators John Kerry (D-Mass.), Senator Richard Lugar (R-Ind.)along with Senator Mark Udall (D-Colo.),The StartUp Visa Act of 2011 will allow an immigrant entrepreneur to receive a two year visa if he or she can show that a qualified U.S. investor is willing to invest in the immigrant’s startup venture. And in an expansion from the Kerry-Lugar StartUp Visa Act of 2010, the pool of eligible immigrants would now include holders of H1B visas and entrepreneurs living outside the United States with a market presence in the country.

Options for Entrepreneurs

The StartUp Visa Act of 2011 would amend immigration law to give immigrant entrepreneurs three new options for entry or retention of residency:

Option One: Immigrant entrepreneurs living outside the U.S. would be eligible to apply for a StartUp Visa if a qualified U.S. investor agrees to financially sponsor their entrepreneurial venture with a minimum investment of $100,000. After two years, their business must have created 5 new jobs and raised not less than $500,000 in additional capital investment or generate not less than $500,000 in revenue.

Option Two: Immigrant entrepreneurs currently in the U.S. on an unexpired H-1B visa; OR immigrant entrepreneurs currently in the U.S. who have completed a graduate level degree in science, technology, engineering, math, computer science, or other relevant academic discipline from an accredited United States college, university, or other institution of higher education would be eligible for a StartUp Visa if;

They demonstrate annual income of not less than roughly $30,000 or the possession of assets of not less than roughly $60,000; and

Have proven that a qualified U.S. investor agrees to financially back their entrepreneurial venture with a minimum investment of $20,000.

After two years, their business must have created 3 new jobs and raised not less than $100,000 in additional capital investment or generate not less than $100,000 in revenue.

Option Three: Immigrant entrepreneurs living outside the U.S. would be eligible to apply for a StartUp Visa if they have controlling interest of a company in a foreign country that has generated, during the most recent 12-month period, not less than $100,000 in revenue from sales in the U.S. 

After two years, their business must have created 3 new jobs and raised not less than $100,000 in additional capital investment or generate not less than $100,000 in revenue.

Better Utilizing Existing Visas

To accommodate this new type of visa, adjustments would be made to the existing EB-5 visa – which grants visas to foreign nationals who invest $1 million towards the creation of 10 jobs. Under a new EB-6 category, a visa would be granted to the innovative entrepreneur with intellectual capital, instead of a wealthy foreign investor who is in a position to buy a visa. The legislation transfers an allotment of the yearly 9,940 EB-5 visas, of which only 4,191 visas were used in FY 2009, to be granted under the new EB-6 category. The creation of new visas is not authorized in this bill.

Preventing fraud and abuse

The investor(s) eligible to “sponsor” immigrant entrepreneurs must be based in the U.S. – with the majority of partners being U.S. citizens – and have made $10 million capital commitments over the course of 2 years, with at least four investments exceeding $500,000 as stipulated in applicable SEC investor rules.

Impact of Startup Visa Act 2011 in India – Indian Entrepreneurs could move to USA.

Comments

  1. I think this "start-up visa" may NOT work because it is extremely difficult to find any US investors to invest $100,000 that kind of big sum of money to the start-up company during this tough economic recession time.

    If investment is needed for green cards, I do believe this $100,000 should be PERSONALLY invested by US international students (instead of finding any US investors) who have advanced degrees without considering whether those graduates are in H-1B status or return to their home countries or not.

    Another option is that to allow those "WEALTHY" graduates who are affordable to give $100,000 for immigration plus paying additional immigration visa fees and put additional money for inflow of cash deposit in bank. If accumulating many $100,000 per graduate, it will help to relieve the national debt.

    Or another option is to simply give "green cards" to those graduates (in Science and Medicine academic major) regardless of whether those graduates are in H-1B status or have already back home or not. And once those US foreign graduates immigrate to US, they will set up companies on their own to hire 1-5 persons for job creations. With inflow of cash , tax payment and immigration visa fees, national debt will be relieved. Also, those graduates will invite friends or relatives to visit US and it will indirectly uplift the sales in airline tickets, hotel reservations, business in shopping malls and restaurants. These will indirectly promote tourism and tourist visa fees for uplifting the poor economy.

    Remember all those graduates need to have free criminal background check before immigration visas are issued.

  2. This is an excellent and motivating visa type. Thanks for posting this article.

  3. Question about Option # 2

    If the immigrant investor (H1B) CANNOT work for any other company other than his investing interests, then what is his annual income not less than $30,000 got to do with his qualifying for the Option # 2 category?

    V

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